The Lobby Bar, located in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island reopened in December 2016 after a 45-day renovation. A waterfront hotel property, The Lobby Bar’s new design is inspired by the coastal heritage of the island and invites guests to dine and socialize in a more modern, posh setting. A specific design inspiration for the renovated space, with warm gray tones and light-reflecting wall coverings, is the oyster—a shellfish known for its rich taste and opalescent qualities. Open seating gives this area a communal feel, as guests are encouraged to dine in groups of all sizes or grab The Smoked Old Fashioned, their signature bourbon cocktail at the bar.
The client desired growth in Lobby Bar's business, which was solved with design by increasing the size of the bar and increasing visibility by removing a wall obstructing it from the lobby. By removing the wall, the lobby gained views of both the restaurant and windows facing the ocean, while still remaining a separate entity from Lobby Bar.
The designers used abstract architectural design to enhance the oyster concept, anchored specifically by the wavy, layered ceiling soffit. Organic curves and colors can be seen throughout the space in the furniture and artwork, iridescence in the wall finishes and fabrics, and sculptural layering in table pieces visually and tangibly reinforce the theme and casual luxury. To complement the materials used, the lighting is soft, seductive and intimate. It is not, however, too dark or veering toward club-like, so the space can transition seamlessly from day to night.